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[525] the brigades of Cruft and Grose upon the Nashville road. This last check rendered the situation of the Federals much more critical; indeed, Thomas' left flank, placed in front of the road, and separated from Palmer by a considerable space, found itself thus absolutely isolated. The extreme left of the Federal army, which rested upon Round Forest, was the only section of the line that had not yet been weakened. It clung to this position as to a last anchor of safety; for if the Confederates had succeeded in carrying it, they would have taken Rosecrans' entire left in reverse as they had turned his right in the morning. Fortunately for the Federals, this important point was confided to one of those indomitable, strong-minded men who can conquer adverse fortune by their courage. The Union army, once saved by Sheridan, was saved a second time by General Hazen. He had already successfully repulsed all the attacks directed against him by the brigades of Chalmers and Donelson. The first had lost its commander and a large number of men; both had been stopped by the enemy's fire every time they attempted to pass beyond the Cowan house. But when Anderson's and Stewart's Confederates had driven in the Federal line on Hazen's right, the latter found himself in a much more dangerous position; he nevertheless resolved to defend it to the last man. Strengthening the margin of the wood south and west, he took a firm stand, and repulsed the enemy's line that was bearing down upon him. This resistance broke the force of the assailants' onslaught for a time. The latter, then massing their forces at the extreme end of the cedar wood, opened a deadly fire upon the Federals, which compelled them to run for shelter to the other side of the railway, one hundred metres in rear of the road; but they did not attempt to follow them there, nor did they venture into the open space which separated them from Hazen. From noon to two o'clock the battle was almost suspended, preparations being made on both sides for a last effort. The two brigades which Bragg had demanded of Breckenridge did not arrive when they might have exercised a decided influence upon the issue of the battle. Breckenridge had replied to his chief that his own position was menaced by considerable masses of the enemy; and yielding to these suggestions, Bragg had not dared to weaken his extreme right. It was only toward the middie

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